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VirginiaBred
Dec. 1, 2009, 12:16 PM
There have been a number of folks asked by a group of the USHJA Pony Breeders Task Force to discuss revitalizing (or changing) the Small Hunter Division at the Virginia Horse Shows Association Annual Meeting this weekend.

The specs on the division were as follows:

Horse height: 14.2 - 15. 2 1/2
Jump height: 3' 3"

The Task Force group would like to see the specs changed to:

Horse height: 14.2 - 15.2 (drop the 1/2)
Jump height: 3' (drop the 3")

Open to both juniors and adults.


Opinions?

hntrjmprpro45
Dec. 1, 2009, 12:20 PM
I really like this idea! Mainly because it targets the "black hole" horses (the height that no one seems to want). It would be nice for these horses to be able to compete in their own division- not that they couldn't compete against larger horses but that many people (buyers) don't think they can.

TheOrangeOne
Dec. 1, 2009, 12:22 PM
What would the rating be on this division? Which shows would hold it?

see u at x
Dec. 1, 2009, 12:23 PM
I would love to see this happen for other people, though it won't do me and my 15h horse any good.

VirginiaBred
Dec. 1, 2009, 12:30 PM
See u at x, why not?

VirginiaBred
Dec. 1, 2009, 12:30 PM
Question:

Should pros be allowed to show in this or not?

Sparky Boy
Dec. 1, 2009, 12:32 PM
I thought the small hunter was 15.3 and under?

findeight
Dec. 1, 2009, 12:35 PM
Not in your area but seems a good idea.

The question you will need to answer is CAN YOU FILL IT?

Is it filling now at 3' 3"? Can you be sure it will fill with the 3" drop? How many will you lose with that half inch elimination? Is that 1/2 inch going to p^ss anybody off (you know, like half the board of directors have a kid with a 15.2 1/2 in there)?

Most organizations and shows will offer anything they can fill on a regular basis-with more then 3 entries. See if you cannot get a committment from those who are likely to enter this so you can present some entry number comparisons with your proposal.

poltroon
Dec. 1, 2009, 12:39 PM
I think it's a great idea.

TheOrangeOne
Dec. 1, 2009, 12:44 PM
So would it be associate rated? I think it should be open to professionals, it always has been. I remember watching a pretty good division of small hunters at Rose Mount one year. If you could have the division added to associate finals, that would drum up interest. I'd also look into a "Small Hunter Challenge Cup", and take the points from the rated shows that hold, or could be persuaded to hold, the division. (Or used to, I think they did at one point) Rose Mount, Warrenton, Deep Run, Keswick, those types of smaller (in feel, not necessarily entries) A shows.

see u at x
Dec. 1, 2009, 12:45 PM
I'm going to ask that it be adopted at the local level first.

See u at x, why not?

Only because I'm not sure that my mare would be capable of doing 3'+ because an old stifle injury. She may be able to do it here and there, but I'm not sure that it would be something I'd want her doing regularly. She's pretty bold and absolutely loves jumping, but we're thinking that she's probably going to max out at 2'6", unfortunately. But who knows? I tend to err on the side of caution and not get my hopes up.

In spite of my personal situation, though, I do think it's a great idea and would love to see it implemented. I think that there are a lot of us with nice horses in this size range who could really benefit. Insofar as it being open to pros, I'm not sure. Is it going to scare off ammy riders if it IS open to pros? I'm an ammy and no great rider by any means, but that wouldn't bother me much to compete against them.

VirginiaBred
Dec. 1, 2009, 12:46 PM
Virginia currently has the Small Hunter Division, but in a very limited number of shows.

See my original post for the original specs on size of horse.

findeight
Dec. 1, 2009, 12:46 PM
Question:

Should pros be allowed to show in this or not?

I vote yes. Why not? It is an Open Hunter division, not childrens or ammies.

I also think you need to get the numbers in there first, then worry about splitting out Pros if there are enough non Pros that want to participate.

Think it would be a good spot for some local level type Pros or those getting started-kind of fill a black hole for them as well as the Hony. And it might get you a bigger class-associations and shows love big numbers in the classes as they make more money from more members and more entries.

Rockfish
Dec. 1, 2009, 12:47 PM
I thought the VHSA already rated small hunters.....they have the division on the 08-09 year end standings.....

french
Dec. 1, 2009, 12:58 PM
VHSA does have Small Hunters. Here are the 2009 points.

SMALL HUNTER
============
Cactus Jack Strotmeyer, Valerie 230.0
Call Me Sheffeld, Bethany 206.0
Me And Julio Bartlett, Shannon 170.0
Noble Knight Eccles, Jennifer L 126.0
Showgirl Braswell, Devon Leigh 90.0
Lady Like The Barracks 75.0

I think the current specs (3'3" jump height) are fine. Large ponies jump 3'.

Summit Springs Farm
Dec. 1, 2009, 01:02 PM
I actually Rode in the VHJA Small hunter division back in the day! My horse was 15.2 or 15.3 and the fence height was 3'6".Ammys and Pros.

Bring it back, it was a great little division, always filled. Its kinda like small ponies but for small horses.

Of corse I'll never ride in it again as I'm too tall for the small horses.

shawneeAcres
Dec. 1, 2009, 01:11 PM
I think it is a good idea, however, why not make it a "true" small hunter division, i.e. under 16 hands?

findeight
Dec. 1, 2009, 01:16 PM
VHSA does have Small Hunters. Here are the 2009 points.

SMALL HUNTER
============
Cactus Jack Strotmeyer, Valerie 230.0
Call Me Sheffeld, Bethany 206.0
Me And Julio Bartlett, Shannon 170.0
Noble Knight Eccles, Jennifer L 126.0
Showgirl Braswell, Devon Leigh 90.0
Lady Like The Barracks 75.0

I think the current specs (3'3" jump height) are fine. Large ponies jump 3'.

Ok, so VB, how many of these that currently show in this division as it is today would be willing to accept your changes?

fordtraktor
Dec. 1, 2009, 01:16 PM
VABred, would it be possible to offer 3' or 3'3, rider's choice? I liked having the intermediate level, but it would probably get more entries if the 3' horses could show too. I would let pros ride in it. Otherwise it will just be another division for the Child/Adult set.

REH
Dec. 1, 2009, 01:23 PM
They have the small hunters at Upperville every year and a couple of other Virginia Shows. I love the division and would like to see it at 3'-3'3", rider's choice and have it open to all.

ETA: if only one height, I think 3' is the best place to keep it because it would help the horse shows run smoothly. there will always be 3' divisions filling at horse shows after which it could be run, but 3'3" is a PITA because not every show offers the 3'3" AO's and the 2nd year pre green doesn't always fill. Anyway, 3' would probably give them more options of where to work it into a horse show schedule without adding too much time to the day.

VirginiaBred
Dec. 1, 2009, 01:23 PM
Part II. Small Hunter. Limited to horses over 14.2 hands and not exceeding 15.2 ½ hands. Classes to follow the same specifications as those listed for green conformation and working hunters, except fences shall be 3'3". Small Hunter may be divided into Conformation and Working sections offered in each section. Unless both sections are offered Conformation and Working Hunter classes shall count toward a Small Hunter Championship with only one under saddle counting. When a Small Hunter Section is offered, points shall not count towards nor make a horse eligible for any other championship. Height of Obstacles: 3'3" spread must not exceed obstacle height.

Rockfish
Dec. 1, 2009, 01:25 PM
or why not have a mix of 3' and 3'3'' in the same course?

chunky munky
Dec. 1, 2009, 01:25 PM
This division died out at the A shows because there are not too many horses of that size attending. Most likely would still be popular at local shows if offered. But the division never went away completely as the points show.

VirginiaBred
Dec. 1, 2009, 01:25 PM
Ok, so VB, how many of these that currently show in this division as it is today would be willing to accept your changes?


Just got off the phone with the VHSA.

Five (5) shows out of 55 offer the division currently.

Both Rosemount shows, James River, Maryland Horse & Pony and Middleburg Classic.

VirginiaBred
Dec. 1, 2009, 01:26 PM
or why not have a mix of 3' and 3'3'' in the same course?


I am discussing your idea plus the other one about making it under 16 hands with the committee currently.

Keep the ideas and suggestions coming!

horseladi78
Dec. 1, 2009, 01:31 PM
I'd love it and I am in VA. My horse is 15'1 7/8 and I have always wanted to show in the small hunters. I love the idea of three foot as my guy can do the step but I wasn't sure what 3'3 would be like for him. I think its fine to have pros and ammies compete, more numbers filling it. I'm all for it!:cool:

Go Fish
Dec. 1, 2009, 01:35 PM
I think it is a good idea, however, why not make it a "true" small hunter division, i.e. under 16 hands?

This division if often offered out here on the West Coast. I don't think it's rated, though. I'll have to check - I've never paid attention.

The large and small hunter classes are usually made up of no-longer-eligible Pre-Green horses that either are not ready or can't move up to the Greens. The smalls usually have around 10 horses, on a good day.

findeight
Dec. 1, 2009, 01:38 PM
Just got off the phone with the VHSA.

Five (5) shows out of 55 offer the division currently.



Ok, that may be in your favor, doesn't sound like a money maker or something most members participate in as it is. Question is can you improve the numbers with the change?

And, yeah, you might offer the choice of 3' or 3'3" but judged TOGETHER, don't split an already very tiny division. If it grows and numbers justify it? Sure. Not now.

Would the Pony Breeder association be interested in sponsoring the year end award or a classic for these? It does NOT cost much, initial investment of a few hundred for a nice perpetual trophy. A little more for a keepsake and, maybe, a cooler. Next year you don't need to buy the perpetual, just the keepsake and cooler. Often wonder why more don't do this-I sponsor a year end award and it cost me under 100 a year, no cooler though. Maybe 250 initially for the perpetual.

If you offer to help get it off the ground and enhance participation, maybe it would give the proposal a boost.

JinxyFish313
Dec. 1, 2009, 01:39 PM
What kind of striding would be involved? The whole reason horses this size don't fit into the other divisions is that they usually don't have the step for it. What kind of questions would be asked?

The only one I have in this size is a small junior who is perfectly content to stay where she is, so I'm just asking for curiosity's sake.

VirginiaBred
Dec. 1, 2009, 01:43 PM
The thinking behind the change of horse height is due more to the smaller, say 15.1 horse is going to have trouble making the step versus one at 15.3 7/8.

That will discourage some people if the lines are set on the 12.5 step like so many shows are now.

carp
Dec. 1, 2009, 02:04 PM
Hmm. Your division is going to succeed or fail depending on whether you can get entries. I'd leave the 15.2 1/2 limit alone; it may only add one or two local horses to the pool of eligible entries, but one or two horses can make the difference on whether a class runs.

VirginiaBred
Dec. 1, 2009, 02:17 PM
Hmm. Your division is going to succeed or fail depending on whether you can get entries. I'd leave the 15.2 1/2 limit alone; it may only add one or two local horses to the pool of eligible entries, but one or two horses can make the difference on whether a class runs.

The proposed new specs are in the original post. 15.2 and under.

Renn/aissance
Dec. 1, 2009, 02:29 PM
I believe the problem with this division under MHSA rules, and the reason that MHSA no longer offers the Small Hunter division, is that it has trouble filling. I do not think that imposing stricter entry limits on this class than already existed would be beneficial in helping the division thrive.

I understand the height drop (although I would prefer for it to be run at 3'3",) but would like to see the division specs as follows:

Open to horses under 16hh
Run at 3' (or a mix of 3' and 3'3") set on a 12' stride
Open to juniors, amateurs, and professionals
Restricted to those horses who are not competing in a hunter division at 3'6" or above at the same show

I would love to be able to take my 15.2 1/2 horse into a division like this, where he could pretend he is a conformation horse. ;)

ynl063w
Dec. 1, 2009, 02:30 PM
How are the strides set for the children's/adult amateur hunters compared to how they will be set for the 3' small hunters? If they are set the same, will there be a need for another 3' division? How are the lines set for the current 3'3" small hunters? And just out of curiosity, how are they set for large pony hunters? I'm just wondering why these small horses can't do the 3' divisions that already exist. Would there be more demand for an open 3'6" small hunter division set on a shorter stride for the really fancy smaller horses that can't do the regular division only because of striding issues, not fence height? As it is now, there really is nowhere for those horses to show.

VirginiaBred
Dec. 1, 2009, 02:32 PM
Just got off the phone with a Committee Member.

The thought behind the horse height change is due to the size animal they are trying to attract (the over sized pony).

A 15.3+ horse can make the step much easier than one that is 14.2 - 15.2.

Ruby G. Weber
Dec. 1, 2009, 02:33 PM
Five out of 55 shows doesn't demonstate much support. Upperville deleted the division as of 2009.

Possibly the best place to re-introduce it is at the Associate shows. Same year end award with double points for those won at rated shows?

Leave the specs as they have always been. It's a hard enough division to fill without quibbling over a half an inch.

see u at x
Dec. 1, 2009, 02:42 PM
Open to juniors, amateurs, and professionals

Don't the juniors already have their own division of large and small hunters?

VirginiaBred
Dec. 1, 2009, 02:45 PM
They have Small & Large Juniors.

:)

VirginiaBred
Dec. 1, 2009, 02:50 PM
Just so everyone knows, there have been a bunch of us approached to discuss this.

Since there is still a division with a High Score Award being offered, it may be more of a change to the current division and if that happens, hopefully it will be more attractive and will result in more entries!

Trixie
Dec. 1, 2009, 02:53 PM
I wouldn't mind seeing it set on a shorter stride, with options for height. The hardest thing on most of the smaller ones I rode was making the longer strides while keeping a smooth canter - I would prefer to add than to have to run down the lines.

Janet
Dec. 1, 2009, 03:08 PM
Not sure what you mean by this

I will be asking the VHSA to adopt this at the Zone level and hopefully it would then go national. as VHSA is a state organization and can't "go national".

If you mean that you want to revive it at VHSA, then try to interest USHJA in taking it to the USEF, you need to bear in mind that the USEF rules, until quite recently (it is in the 2008 rule book), HAD Small Green and Small Working divisions, though they were rarely offered

HU 104 The Green and Regular Sections may be divided into the following classifications:
a. Small—not exceeding 15.2 and 1/2 hands.

Since they JUST took it out, I do not know how likely they would be to put it back in, even with a different jump height.

With regard to jump height, at a RATED, Recognized show, I would hate to see horses, even small horses, jumping the same height as the large ponies, so I would push for 3'3" at the USEF shows, though 3' would be fine at VHSA Associate shows, since the ponies don't jump 3' there.

Yes, I have actively competed two "small" horses, 14h3" and 15h1", and I would prefer to show both of them at 3'3" rather than 3'. They are/were jumpers/eventers rather than hunters, but they do/did their share of hunter classes for the schooling/experience.

VirginiaBred
Dec. 1, 2009, 03:12 PM
Janet, since it already is being offered (granted only at five shows) I should delete that line about the *Zone level. :)

*done!

Midge
Dec. 1, 2009, 03:30 PM
If this goes through, I will send my small hunter up for one of you all to sell. I can't give him away right now...

shoponee70
Dec. 1, 2009, 03:39 PM
i love it! esp if adults can ride.. I think b/c the height there wont be many pros using it as a horse prep ( workings /ao's ) for their Junior riders

keepthelegend
Dec. 1, 2009, 03:50 PM
My small junior Nanu ended up as a small hunter in Virginia. She was 15.2 1/2...I kind of like that 1/2 inch...think it would help fill the division. I also like it being 3'3 and a perfect stepping stone into the junior or a/o hunters. Bring it back!

toomanyponies
Dec. 1, 2009, 04:29 PM
I think you need to address distances. Its hard enough finding a large pony that can truly do the strides comfortably, at 11 1/2 ft stride lines. A hony at 14.3/15 hands is no more helped by having the strides at 12 ft - then its just pregreens or child or adult or low. . .

I love the idea - but if its truly meant to provide a showcase for the never never land horses, lets make the distances appropriate.

vapnys
Dec. 1, 2009, 05:13 PM
I would love to show my 15.1h honey in this division Randee. I like the idea of 3ft. And it would give my nice honey great exposure at the bigger shows that otherwise he wouldn't get. (And a fun experience for me too!) But I can tell you right now, being just a local ammy, if there are pro's riding against me then I definitely wouldn't compete. And if a professional Jr. rider is using the division to give her fancy six-figure Small Jr. a school before her division then I'd probably call it a day as well. JMHO

ynl063w
Dec. 1, 2009, 05:26 PM
I think you need to address distances. Its hard enough finding a large pony that can truly do the strides comfortably, at 11 1/2 ft stride lines. A hony at 14.3/15 hands is no more helped by having the strides at 12 ft - then its just pregreens or child or adult or low. . .

I love the idea - but if its truly meant to provide a showcase for the never never land horses, lets make the distances appropriate.

Thanks toomanyponies, that's what I was getting at.

vapnys, do you find that your horse has trouble getting down the lines in the adult amateurs? How would the distances have to be set for you to not have trouble? If the lines are set really short, a fancy small junior horse is going to have a lot of trouble fitting in the strides. For that reason, it's possible that this new division won't attract that type of horse/rider combination.

poltroon
Dec. 1, 2009, 05:28 PM
I think you need to address distances. Its hard enough finding a large pony that can truly do the strides comfortably, at 11 1/2 ft stride lines. A hony at 14.3/15 hands is no more helped by having the strides at 12 ft - then its just pregreens or child or adult or low. . .

I love the idea - but if its truly meant to provide a showcase for the never never land horses, lets make the distances appropriate.

This confuses me.

I grew up completely with 12' distances, even in the 2' and 2'6" classes, when they were offered at the local shows. The large ponies did 12' distances. Eventing is 12' distances and we have quite a few successful under 15.2. Northern Dancer, one of the fastest, longest strided TBs of all time, was 15.1.

Is it that y'all like to see the horses go slower now in the hunters than in the ancient '80s and '90s?

gottagrey
Dec. 1, 2009, 05:30 PM
It used to be a pretty popular division but then entries fell off and shows stopped offering it. As far as I know it was an open division. Maybe some local shows or USHJA could start offering it up to see if it would generate any interest again. Hmm maybe I'll suggest it to one of the local show associations around here.. you never know

thegirlwonder
Dec. 1, 2009, 05:31 PM
This would be WONDERFUL! We first spotted the sire of our future brood in the Small Hunter Division (Greystone Ian McVai) at Deep Run. This division would give all of those poor and unsuspecting large pony breeders who's babies grow just a little too big a chance to strut their stuff! Just because they're a half inch too big doesn't mean they shouldn't be appreciated!

mvp
Dec. 1, 2009, 05:36 PM
If you read my various rants, you know I'm always worried about the way making new divisions that reward less-than-spectacular animals. In the short-term its inclusive and democratic. In the long-term, it allows us to breed worse.

But the small hunter is different in one respect: Smaller horses tend to stay sounder longer. If we can create an ammy market for smaller horses, man and beast both might benefit in that long term.

Windswept Stable
Dec. 1, 2009, 06:35 PM
I think its a great idea. I did not even know it was offered at some shows.
Definitely make it open to all--juniors, ammys and pros.

It would for sure give my pony plus stallion a place to show.

And try as hard as we might, when a pony breeder shoots for the stars as buyers want-- 14.2--- sometimes we end up on the moon! With a little bigger. Still quality equine--but without a place to show.

Count me in on this idea!

Do they need measurement cards to partipate?

VirginiaBred
Dec. 1, 2009, 06:37 PM
Because there is a division currently and this is all up for discussion this weekend, I have no idea what will be requested. Please come on Saturday and participate!

pcwertb
Dec. 1, 2009, 07:23 PM
The one I bred that is now 15.2 is eventing novice in TX, but I am sure her owner would show her in the hunters if there was such a division. I have a lovely New Forest Pony who can jump the moon, and I got her for cheap because she is 5 years old and 14.3. Didn't matter that her daddy is competing PSG in dressage or that she was the highest scoring weanling in 2004 for ISR Oldenburg, she finished at no-man's height. And I like to show in the hunters as well as jumpers and dressage, throw in the occasional hunter pace and I'm all set!

Daydream Believer
Dec. 1, 2009, 09:14 PM
I came over invited from the breeding forum...I think offering a division for this size is a great idea. It helps lift some of the down sides against smaller horses and does allow a legitimate place for high quality small horses over 14:2 to compete. I also think it's consistent with the trend to many older adults downsizing from big horses to smaller ones....and with our aging population, I think you will see more of that as time goes on.

I'm a bit confused on the stride lengths also. I'm also a former eventer who did a few hunter rounds in my day...but that was a while ago. My little horses can do 12 feet..that is not a problem at all as they move like horses with a lot of scope in their stride. Are the regular hunter courses now set at over 12' strides?

We do have a very cute gelding that is about 14:3 that would make an adorable small hunter. If this is revived it might give us a place to show him so I'm all for it.

MagicHillFarm
Dec. 1, 2009, 10:20 PM
Honestly, I would much rather see it called the "Extra Large Pony Division" aka "XL Pony division"...would be a godsend to all of the fancy honies out there that went over. Would rather see the height specs to 14.2 + to 15.1 hds to make it a true honey division. Must have a measurement card. Jumps at 3'. Jrs & Ammies eligible only....

Beam Me Up
Dec. 1, 2009, 10:51 PM
I am a VHSA member but not a hunter rider, so excuse my ignorant questions.

First, I love the idea! There are so many talented horses of all sizes and encouraging people to select/train/show the small ones is great.

I'm a little confused as to what this division is a small counterpart of, though. If it's an A/O division and A/O is 3'6, then small A/O at 3'3 sort of makes sense (though is not parallel to the small/large junior breakdown).

As a 3' division it could be breaking down small/large A/A hunters.

If open to all (small working hunter or something) it seems hard to justify it being under 3'6.

I guess here's my concern (surmountable I'm sure!!)--having a single small hunter division for all riders implies that the size of the horse is the most important factor in what it can/should jump, more important than green, or AA/AO/working, all the other stuff we divide divisions by. Making the division more challenging will showcase the best of the small horses, while making it more accessible will allow more riders with small horses to participate. I'm not sure which is more important.

Show_hunters
Dec. 1, 2009, 10:59 PM
I bet if the horses height was up to 15.3 and jump height was 2'9 and pro's could enter that it would fill very nicely.

Not all young horses are ready to show 3ft ++ so the value of lower heights is very benifitful. I think it would open a whole new market if rated shows would have more dividison like 2'6 to 2'9. As of now there are not many and/or are unrated and have no points awarded. Now if these classes had yearend points/ awards then I could really see these classes take off. It's simply a good middle ground for many (either for horse or rider). I know that shows are having problems filling. So having these classes would add increase income and offer greater appeal for many. In fact I have 3 or 4 horses right now that I'd take if this was the case. Not many shows offer a pre-adult or childerns classes and nor do they address the baby green horse market need. The way I see it rated shows are either show 3ft+ or stay home. Well if market damands are for classes with points that have jump heights 2'6 to 2'9. Then why not tap into that market and add those classes. Why say no to money?

I also do agree with pro's being allowed to enter and no I'm not a pro.

RockinHorse
Dec. 2, 2009, 06:52 AM
Making the division more challenging will showcase the best of the small horses, while making it more accessible will allow more riders with small horses to participate. I'm not sure which is more important.

I agree. I think the idea of a showcase division for smaller horses is a nice idea. That being said, when the discussion turns to lowering the jumps, shortening the strides, etc it sounds like just an other division being added so mediocre horse have a place to go and get a ribbon.

Sunset Ponies
Dec. 2, 2009, 08:03 AM
I would love to see this division get more attention. My personal horse is an over-grown pony from my breeding program and doing the small hunters was already a goal I had in mind for him.

I like the idea of their being an option for either 3' or 3'3. It will probably attract more numbers for the division having a lower height, but I also liked the idea of having the 3'3 as a goal for me and the hony.

On the issue of height of the animal, I am not sure that an extra 1/2 inch is that big of a deal, but I definitely don't think the division should allow anything bigger than it already does. If this division is really for showcasing the hony then 15.3 is too big.

I am sort of on the fence about who should be able to ride in it. If you limit it to no professionals, that won't help already small numbers. However, as an ammie, if the division becomes over-run by pros, then I will probably head back to the associate level stuff myself.

quicksilverponies
Dec. 2, 2009, 08:28 AM
I agree with MagicHillFarm. I would rather see it as an Xlarge Pony division and keep the height at 3' - ammys and jr riders.

Rockfish
Dec. 2, 2009, 09:07 AM
I
Not all young horses are ready to show 3ft ++ so the value of lower heights is very benifitful.


That's part of what the VHSA Assoc. circuit is for.

JinxyFish313
Dec. 2, 2009, 09:39 AM
I think juniors and ammies only sounds like a good idea. The only reason for a pro to ride in it is to prep a horse that's headed for the small juniors and if it can handle that it can handle the first years.

If the class is going to be 3', the distances have to be shorter than in the ch/AA, otherwise there is no point. If you've got a small horse who can get down those lines, show in those sections. I can see standard distances at 3'3" making sense for the small horses who have the step for that level, but not for the Jr/AO @ 3'6" and are bored at 3' (I guess).

Trixie
Dec. 2, 2009, 10:03 AM
Not all young horses are ready to show 3ft ++ so the value of lower heights is very benifitful. I think it would open a whole new market if rated shows would have more dividison like 2'6 to 2'9. As of now there are not many and/or are unrated and have no points awarded. Now if these classes had yearend points/ awards then I could really see these classes take off. It's simply a good middle ground for many (either for horse or rider). I know that shows are having problems filling. So having these classes would add increase income and offer greater appeal for many. In fact I have 3 or 4 horses right now that I'd take if this was the case. Not many shows offer a pre-adult or childerns classes and nor do they address the baby green horse market need. The way I see it rated shows are either show 3ft+ or stay home. Well if market damands are for classes with points that have jump heights 2'6 to 2'9. Then why not tap into that market and add those classes. Why say no to money?

Where exactly are you showing? If you’re from NOVA, you’d know that MOST (though not all) of our rated shows offer at least one 2’6” division – FREQUENTLY well more than one – plus a baby green. Plus, we have an entire local circuit that’s practically devoted to the 2’6” and other low classes that offers year end awards. Mostly, I wish our local circuit would actually step it up instead of adding more 2’6” divisions.

Further, the 2’6”-ish divisions at the rated shows DO fill – often significantly more than other classes. This is not an ignored niche, and they’re most definitely not without a place to go.

M. Owen
Dec. 2, 2009, 01:52 PM
Some where in this thread some one asked about stride length and whether courses are set on a 12' stride. At larger shows, a horse typically needs to be able to maintain more of a 12.5-13' stride length for the 3' and up divisions. Someone once posted a chart of recommended lengths to use to set strides at larger shows. To me, this division could be valuable in one of two scenarios: 1) have jumps of 3' to 3'3" (maybe even 3'6"?) but set on a 12foot step rather than 12.5 or more) or 2) have the same course, but allow the add where necessary. In the case of 2 though, I don't know how you'd deal with a one or two stride, that would get ugly.

Instead of creating a different division, has anyone considered looking at small/ medium/ large horse hunters in the same way they do pony hunters? Use the same course and class, but set the expectation for step in accordance with size the same way that is done for ponies?

LaBonnieBon
Dec. 2, 2009, 10:17 PM
I think the height should stay the same or go down to 15.2, but not go any higher. I like the idea of the 3' option (or 3' only). I think that would get a lot more entries for the division.

Thanks for working on this for us small hunters! :-)

bvsporthorses
Dec. 2, 2009, 10:38 PM
I really like the idea of having this to showcase the "XL ponies" or honies. I would think it beneficial to allow junior, ammys and pros to generate more entries. I would be concerned about the stride length and agree with previous posts about setting it at 12'. Also I would like to see it set at 3feet and the height limit 14.2+ - 15.1 ( as magichill said to make it a true hony division) with measurment card required.

I can think of one mare out in my barn right now who I would like to see go around in this division :)

pwynnnorman
Dec. 3, 2009, 06:50 AM
And I'd donate every year whatever I could to keep it funded, too.

I'm busy writing term papers, so I can't discuss this, but I am absolutely SOLIDLY behind this.

Folks, if those who can (not an issue if you just can't, OK?) would just put up a significant sum to get this not only off the ground, but picked up by the shows because there'd be prize money or an award or something, it would be sure to happen!

I am as cash strapped as anyone in this tough economy, but, by golly, this would help not only my business, but the ENTIRE INDUSTRY:

It would help stallion owners because more people would breed for large ponies, knowing that if they went oversized, they'd still have a prestigious place to show.
It would help exhibitors because they would be able to get the size that fits them--and spreading out what size suits would also lower prices.
It would help sellers because a talented HONY would still have value.
It would help buyers because, at least for a while, horses falling into this category would probably still, on average, be less expensive.
It would help show management because they would have a well-supported (by sponsors) division which would also bring more horses to their shows (all those HONIES who have to stay at home, for example, because they have no place to go).
It would help trainers because they'd have more options (in purchasing mounts and in showing) for their clients.There is just no downside to this proposal except the effort it will take to make it work. I'm super busy right now, but after 12/15/09, I'm going to get back into the horses and I am very, very willing to do whatever I can to make this happen.

Who will join me in putting up some funds so whoever is leading the charge will know how dedicated we'll be to helping them? PM me if you are game--or if there's already a fund out there (I haven't read the whole thread).

I won't just send my money somewhere in isolation, though. If no one else is willing to put their money where their mouths are, well, IMO, that's an indication this isn't going to work, regardless. Every new division has gotten off the ground because it was clear--clear--that it had real support, not just a lot of talk.

Ugh, I don't have the time to get into this, but I'm very curious to see what happens next.

P.S.
Like health care, I don't give a rats patootie what the details are--they can be tweaked later. In this case, a simple survey (the sort of thing a few bucks in the kitty could enable) would answer all the questions being asked here so the effort would be based on empirical, rather than anecdotal or preferential, data. If most folks wanted 3' and a 12-foot stride, so be it, end of discussion, no hard feelings. This is how products in the real world are marketed. Given how tough the market is these days, proceeding as professionally as possible would give this idea the best shot at succeeding, IMO.

Janet
Dec. 3, 2009, 07:10 AM
I think the height depends on what kind of division it is.

If "rated" (nationwide year end awards) I think it needs to be 3'3" (between "large pony" and "Jr/ A/O hunter")

If "zone", it should be between the "children's pony" and "children's hunter" height for that zone.

mvp
Dec. 3, 2009, 07:42 AM
It seems to me that the thing separating larger and smaller horses is not the size of the jump, but the speed with which they need to gallop or "walk" in order to make the strides.

The point of a small hunter division should not be to lower fence heights. We have every permutation in 3" increments from 2'3" to 3'6".

IMO, it should not be to make the 15.1 horse a breeding goal (as could theoretically happen, though is unlikely to).

So the question: Are small hunters "allowed" to gallop on a bit more and still fit into some judge's aesthetic box?

It seems to me that one could insist these distances were based on a 12 stride (and please, for the sake of posterity, no less), but never longer. Or (and also for the stake of posterity) we could accept a little bit brighter performance from these hunters, as was ok in yester-year with outside courses.

lauriep
Dec. 3, 2009, 07:52 AM
I think it is a good idea, however, why not make it a "true" small hunter division, i.e. under 16 hands?

Because it isn't the 15.3+ horses that have a problem finding a division. That size is welcomed by the juniors. The overgrown ponies have nowhere to compete if they are just over. I think it is an excellent idea.

War Admiral
Dec. 3, 2009, 09:17 AM
Not a Virginia resident but I'd love to see this division take off nationally. However, I'd like to see: 15'3", option of fence height 3' or 3'3", and a 12-foot stride max.

I don't have strong feelings either way about pros being allowed to ride... I'm not scared of 'em! :lol: Just PLEASE don't make it amateur-owner... :) Amateur/junior would be fine by me...

Great idea, VB!

CenterStage123
Dec. 3, 2009, 10:01 AM
I would love to see this divison nationally! Like with national year end standings and a place at finals. I would like it to be set at 3'3" or even 3'6" and be on the 12' step. It would be great because my horse has the style and jump to do the juniors, but there is no way we could make it down a 14' line! I think 3'3" would be the perfect height because it would be between large pony hunters and juniors/aos which is a niche I think we need filled. And when you think about it, the horses are taller than large ponies, so they should be expected to jump higher too. I wouldnt be opposed to it being open to pros because it would allow for more entries, but put a rule in that says the horses cant compete at another divison at the show higher than 3'3". I definatley do NOT think it should be set at 3' or with a shorter stride than 12'. Heck, they would be doing less than the large ponies. Make it a national divison with jrs ammys and pros set at 3'3" on a 12' stride and Im in.

Ruby G. Weber
Dec. 3, 2009, 10:08 AM
No matter if the division is resurrected you should not mandate the length of stride. Keep in mind that each and every show rings rides differently. To the point where a line set on 12' could end up riding long in one ring and short in another.

findeight
Dec. 3, 2009, 11:41 AM
The thought behind the horse height change is due to the size animal they are trying to attract (the over sized pony).

A 15.3+ horse can make the step much easier than one that is 14.2 - 15.2.

Actually, since this idea is being presented by the Pony Breeders, it is logical it would be defined by the 1 hand governing each Pony division.
Small- max 12.2
Medium-12.2 to 13.2
Large-13.2 to 14.2
Hony-14.2 to 15.2

This strikes me as the way to go. 15.2+ has lots of places to go. Juniors, A/O, Childrens, Adult. If you go 16h and under, it's just another Hunter class and the Hony at 14.3 is just not going to get a new place to play-which is the whole point of the proposal...isn't it?

Stride length? A "soft" 12' would be appropriate but not etched in stone...tiny indoor rings need to be a little less and big outdoor rings an honest 12'. That should not choke the 15.1 1/2 or make the 14.2 3/4 run the lines.

VirginiaBred
Dec. 3, 2009, 12:01 PM
Small- max 12.2
Medium-12.2 to 13.2
Large-13.2 to 14.2
Hony-14.2 to 15.2

But lets call it Small Hunters.

The term "hony" is so degrading and unflattering, don't you agree?

findeight
Dec. 3, 2009, 12:28 PM
But lets call it Small Hunters.

The term "hony" is so degrading and unflattering, don't you agree?

Oh, sure. But for clarity's sake, I used the term Hony to differentiate this class proposal presented on behalf of Pony Breeders from just another low, open, special, modified, maybe, someday, wannbe Hunter class-or Small Juniors right at 16h.

And by all means-measurement card required.

llsc
Dec. 3, 2009, 12:34 PM
But lets call it Small Hunters.

The term "hony" is so degrading and unflattering, don't you agree?

I don't mind "Hony", It's sure better than "Porse". :)

I have a very fancy Small Hunter, just under 15 hands, and I would love to show in this division. I'd like to see 3' and a 12' stride, but I guess 3'3" wouldn't kill us. I think it should be open to pros.

pattnic
Dec. 3, 2009, 10:07 PM
I LOVE this idea! :yes:

As far as horse/hony height goes, I think findeight has a valid point with the distribution. I think that max height of 15.2 would work well... as was previously stated, once the horse is over 15.2, many more doors open up.

I like the idea of running it at either 3' or 3'3"... or having a mix/options.

I think the biggest thing is the stride, as some smaller horses DO have trouble with making the step in other divisions, but are still perfectly capable of doing the height. Setting it on a 12' stride seems like it would be pretty ideal.

I've got two horses that I would love to show in something like this. My 15.0 (or is she 15.1...?) mare can hop over 4'3" no problem, but she certainly isn't going to lope down the lines of most divisions like her 17.2 hand barnmate. My little gelding is also very athletic, but putting him up against said barnmate is again, not fair.

If I had ANY extra money right now, I would definitely do my part to support this financially with pwynnnorman. When I *do* have money, I certainly will (but to be honest, I think I have to win the lottery first).

chunky munky
Dec. 3, 2009, 10:40 PM
You all need to understand that this division has never been cancelled. It just became disinterested, which means no entries, which means it will not be offered by horse show management.

VirginiaBred
Dec. 4, 2009, 06:07 AM
You all need to understand that this division has never been cancelled. It just became disinterested, which means no entries, which means it will not be offered by horse show management.


Not completely. There has been an ongoing high score award for it each year. And hopefully with the re-vamping and potential tweeking, it will become more popular.

Stay tuned!

VirginiaBred
Dec. 5, 2009, 05:08 PM
Those attending the Virginia Horse Shows Association meetings were very enthusiastic about dropping the jump height from 3' 3" to 3'.

The decision was made to leave the height of the horse as it is (14.2 to 15.2 1/2).

The big spec change request was the fence height and to help encourage the over grown pony to have a place to be showcased.

This change in the division specs will be seen in 2010.

irideponyhunters
Dec. 6, 2009, 04:38 PM
i think this is a GREAT idea!

Clarion
Dec. 10, 2009, 07:37 PM
I think it's a great idea. I love riding smaller horses. And I have an absolutely SUPER Just the Best colt that is the perfect hunter--conformation and movement--but he's only 15 hands. I'd love it if there were classes for smaller hunters like him.

VirginiaBred
Dec. 10, 2009, 08:47 PM
I And I have an absolutely SUPER Just the Best colt that is the perfect hunter--conformation and movement--but he's only 15 hands. I'd love it if there were classes for smaller hunters like him.

How did that happen? I have one also (6 months old) and he's HUGE! Bound to be 16.2 or 3 easily.

Your mare must have been small.

Clarion
Dec. 12, 2009, 06:02 PM
No, his mom was 16.1hh. He was her last foal and we believe her placenta was insufficient. He was TINY when he was born. Then, sadly, his mom died of a heart attack when he was just a month old. So he was underdeveloped for awhile from being an orphan. We thought he might catch up as he got older, but he's obviously going to remain small. He's got fabulous conformation though and is a super mover. If he had just been two inches SHORTER he would have made a to-die-for hunter pony. I'm hoping he will get an inch or two more, but it's all good either way. I love him no matter what size he is!:yes:

VirginiaBred
Dec. 12, 2009, 07:20 PM
No, his mom was 16.1hh. He was her last foal and we believe her placenta was insufficient. He was TINY when he was born. Then, sadly, his mom died of a heart attack when he was just a month old.

That is heartbreaking! I bet he's gorgeous.

Clarion
Dec. 13, 2009, 12:34 AM
He is. :) I just love him. I'm looking forward to getting him started next year.

And it was heartbreaking. As she died, I promised his mom I would always take care of him, so he's not going anywhere.